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Comment Re:The EPA has always been headed by industry flac (Score 4, Insightful) 105

I would just like to take this opportunity to remind die-hard libertarians that the solution is not to do away with these agencies that are supposed to provide oversight. It is to change the appointment rules and process so that the people who are appointed cannot have worked in the industry within a certain amount of time, and cannot have any conflict of interest with the industry (e.g. close relative is an industry exec).

Comment Re:I didn't watch the speech (Score 1) 583

The State of the Union is as much a platform for the president to promote his agenda as it is about informing the public of the current situation of the United States.

The various things Obama outlined during his State of the Union are a part of his agenda. If you listened carefully, you'd catch that Obama was very careful about what he said he wanted to do. These were not campaign-style promises. He did not claim to put solar panels on every roof, or do away with gasoline-powered vehicles. He wanted to increase alternative energy research. He wanted to promote high-mpg vehicles. He wanted to cut tax subsidies for already-successful corporations. These are things that can be put into a bill and voted upon by congress. They are action items, to borrow from corporate-speak, and this speech is Obama telling congress that these are the action items he'd like to see happen.

Do I agree with him on all counts? No. I think his use of drone strikes is unconstitutional, and a broad overreach of executive power. He may be Commander in Chief, of the military, but the military's purpose is not to kill civilians, much less American citizens who under the constitution are afforded a trial by jury before execution.

I also find the notions of "gun control" he outlined laughable, but I recognize the need for him to appease the idiots who are only interested in the appearance of safety, and cowards who see gun and shoot first (or in more recent cases, see truck and shoot first). These people form a significant and vocal part of his constituency. If he really wanted to prevent mass shootings, he'd push for mental health legislation. He'd increase the quality of care for veterans coming back from hell. And he'd work to curb the pharmaceutical companies' power over the people (via their insane prices) and the government, who are by far the largest roadblock to a working health care system.

Likewise, if he really wanted to bring jobs back into American soil, he'd push for significant copyright and patent reform that's strangling research and innovation. He'd push for union reforms. He'd push for judicial reforms that would allow individuals to defend themselves in court without going bankrupt. But he made no such mentions. The most he did was ask to simplify the tax code, and more for the purpose of increasing tax revenue than for simplifying running a small business.

But Obama is trying to nudge us back in the right direction after twenty-odd years of going in the wrong one. This speech shows he has a long-term vision of prosperity for everybody and not just for the wealthiest. It signifies that he might not have all the solutions, but he recognizes the problems. And I will give him that much credit.

Comment Re:Re-position the Planet (Score 2) 265

6 megatons is not even a zit. The pores of your skin would be more prominent than the explosion this would cause. This planet is huge. 6Mt will just flatten a lot of trees and kill off a bunch of animals (humans included) in a localized area, but it probably won't cause a supervolcano eruption unless the human species got real lucky.

Comment Re:Taxes aren't the problem either (Score 1) 183

The military complex is part of the problem. But what's more visible are the contractors and their sub-contractors, wasting away taxpayer dollars. That's what's causing the big government backlash recently.

Most people don't care that half of our tax dollars are funded for military research. After all, part of that goes to DARPA, which gave us the internet. However, it's a bit upsetting when we see the government pissing out tax dollars away by paying a contractor several hundred dollars an hour for three or four people to stand around and drink coffee for six out of eight hours a day.

Comment Re:It's Quite Disingenuous (Score 1) 513

Actually, Hotmail sucks in this regard. If an e-mail address isn't on your contact list, but you receive a ton of e-mail over time from that address (there's a certain threshold), at some point, any additional e-mail sent by that address is automatically marked as spam. And you can't get it to not be marked as spam until you actually put the address into your contact list. So I have a whole bunch of mailing list e-mails that end up in my spam folder along with all the Viagra e-mails, as well as correspondences from certain individuals, making the spam folder utterly useless.

I don't know if things have changed recently, but that's been the way it worked for a long, long time.

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